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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Valleywide

LAPD Seeks to Build Secure 911 Center

November 03, 1998|SUE FOX

Aiming to make its new emergency communications hub in the Valley as disaster-proof as possible, the Los Angeles Police Department wants to build a specially-designed center in West Hills rather than use the Anthony Building in Sun Valley.

The city is negotiating with the Anthony Building's owners, the Department of Water and Power, about buying the building use as a second Valley police bureau. City officials are considering several options for the site, including the new 911 center, a proposal backed by Councilman Richard Alarcon.

But the Police Department has its own standards for an emergency communications post--and the Anthony Building falls short, said Roger Ham, the department's chief information officer. The LAPD's top priority is that the 911 center be an independent facility, not shared with anyone else. Sharing a building could mean a breach of the tight security of the emergency center, Ham said.

"When you think of 911, you think of a bullet-proof system," Ham said. "You don't think of something that's just good enough to get by."

The Police Department also wants the Valley's new 911 center built to the highest standards of earthquake-resistance, Ham said.

At a Monday meeting of the City Council's Public Safety Committee, Councilwoman Laura Chick noted the LAPD's position and asked that the matter be discussed in more detail in another committee. That panel, run by the council's chief aide and other city staff, oversees the $235-million bond issue that voters approved six years ago to upgrade the city's emergency systems.

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